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The Band

Conscious, soulful, uplifting, even healing—that’s how many fans of Root Shock have described the band’s infectious sound and energy. With a reputation like that, it’s unsurprising that this group is indebted to reggae, a class of music forever married to love, humanity, social change, and an almost tangible sense of sunlight. But Root Shock didn’t form on a beach. Instead, they came up in snowy Syracuse, New York in 2012, and since then, they’ve developed a voice that transcends genre.

Spearheaded by the acrobatic, powerhouse vocals of Jessica Brown, the Root Shock sound is at once commanding and cathartic, but never at the expense of a velvety, carefully placed jazz or neo-soul lick. When he isn’t complementing Brown’s pipes with his own earthy vocal turns, Phil Grajko gets weird on the guitar, seamlessly moving from chop chords to girthy riffs and spellbinding solos colored by Latin, prog, and psychedelic rock textures—often in tandem with mad keyboard genius Brian Lauri. Rounding out the band, bassist Bill Eppel and drummer Tyre Outerbridge make for a formidable rhythm section fluent in patterns ranging from dancehall to ska to heavy dub style and funk.

In 2016, Root Shock released a self-titled album, produced by Jason “Jocko” Randall at More Sound Studio, and followed that up with the “Many Paths” EP in 2018 & the Waves single in 2019. These recordings are proof of the band’s democratic songwriting process, with thoughtful lyrics from Brown and Grajko that invoke hope in dark times, warn against injustice, and imagine a future in which all are free and equal and united by music.

Today, Root Shock is bringing their renowned live show to clubs, festivals, and concert halls across the Northeast and beyond, delighting audiences from all walks of life with a positive message and danceable tunes.

Root Shock Is…

Jessica Brown Vocals & Melodica
Bill Eppel Bass Guitar
Phil Grajko Guitar & Vocals
Brian Lauri Keyboards
Tyre Outerbridge Drums


Root Shock saves the world – J.Teirney, music Blogger
“Root Shock have something that other bands don’t always have, a mission, a point of view that trancends the notes played by the incredibly talented players on the stage. To see Root Shock is to put your soul in their hands, and know they will enrich it, and lovingly return it to you, so you can do the same to others…
…I have been to hundreds of shows in my life, that’s what I do and there are some that at the end of the night where I am exhausted from the shared express of energy that some shows require from an audience, that exhaustion is thrilling. But there are some more rare shows where I feel energized, refreshed. Root Shock always leaves me energized, refreshed and more positive of spirit ” – Read More

Syracuse Post Standard
“A big draw at local venues, Syracuse’s Root Shock releases its first record” – Read More

Syracuse Post Standard
“The six-piece kicks it old school dub style at one moment, with traditional one drop chops reminiscent of King Tubby and Bob Marley himself — but the beauty’s in the addition of lead vocalist Jessica Brown, a bona fide soul powerhouse whose acrobatic runs give the band a real edge. No wonder their name is Root Shock” – Read More

Syracuse Area Music Awards 2017
“The Brian Bourke Award for Best New Artist was awarded to Funk ‘n Waffles regulars, reggae-soul band Root Shock. This presentation seemed to be the biggest crowd pleaser of the night as fellow musicians and fans alike rose to cheer their win.” –
Read More
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Finger Lakes Music Press
“… a lot to love. The first time I saw this band out of Syracuse was their first foray into Ithaca a couple of years ago. I was immediately impressed by how smooth, integrated, and comfortable they were, together on stage and with the crowd. The music was sophisticated but completely accessible – an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable set[…].” –  Read More

NYS Music
“Root Shock immediately took the stage, sustaining the audience’s animation and radiating energy with a snappy, high-powered performance. Jessica Brown seared ear drums with a spicy heat that seduced a crowd, amorously applauding her howling mid-song vocals.” –  Read More

NYS Music
“Root Shock takes the crown as the winner of NYS Music’s state-wide 2017 March Madness. Root Shock brought their fanbase together to propel them to the top,” – Read More

NYS Music
“…be advised: powerhouse frontwoman Jessica Brown is a wolf (or fox?) in sheep’s clothing her sweet and humble stage presence is contrasted sharply by her raw, riveting, fiery sound that is sure to get you out of your seat.” –  Read More


Purchase our first album here:

We forget this glory
We waste our energy
To win this war against our enemy
We’ve got to believe
Free our mind from captivity
Father, Spirit and Love, the Trinity
Power and strength from the Almighty
All nations will sing

Ooooh, my soul
All people, come alive, come alive

There’s poison in our water and food
Earth ripped apart at her roots
Sons and daughters stand up for the truth
United we grow

Holding onto all this negativity that’s surrounding me
Corrupting what’s left of my sanity. Life’s too short it’s passing you by
While you’re looking for that next superficial high
But it’s my choice to stay this way
Dwell in the past, to remain in pain
If you’re soul doesn’t feel right inside, break down those walls that you’re hiding behind
Happiness comes with the sunlight of a brand new day

So I’ll stand strong and move on with grace
Oh Lord, help me get out of this dark place
To find peace and restore my faith
And I will, I will, I will learn from my past mistakes

Live the life you want to live
Love to live the life you want to give
Give the love you want to feel
A kind of love that empowers and heals

Freedom- Forgiving the hurt and pain
Freedom- Our struggles are not in vain
Freedom- I’m breaking off these chains
Freedom- A brighter world we will create

Running away from the uncertainty in my soul
Trying to find the answers to the unknown
Don’t know which way to go, what is my direction?
We can’t recognize our own reflection

So I will give my body and soul away to love
Seeking direction, protection from the one above
Healing the wounds of my sisters and my brothers
We got to learn to love each other

You can try to steal my money
You can try to rob my gold
Put me in poverty
But you cannot have my soul
You can try to blind our eyes
This mass control hypnotize
Put our bodies in slavery
But you cannot have my mind

Wake up and see the beauty
Wake up and give new life to live
Wake up and breathe clean air flowing through me
Wake up and stand, change is in your hands

Try to destroy my faith
With mockery, lies and deception
But I forgive you with love and no retaliation
Our voice is filled with power
To restore the nations
Drink up this living water
To move the mountains

Change is in our hands now
It’s up to you
It’s up to me
To love each other
’Til everyone is free
To heal the children
Raise up this generation
Change is happenin’
Are you ready? Are you ready?

Running through the fields the grass cuts into my heels
I don’t mind the pain, learning to feel again
I see the clouds in the distance bringing a season of rain
Lifting my eyes to the sky, I forget all my pain

Feel it in your heart, singin’ it with your soul
Break free and let the rhythm move you
Let go of control

As that same grass turns brown and all of those leaves fall down
I am still in this place, thinkin’ of those days
When life seemed so long so much time left to waste
But now that clock is ticking, years go by spinning, the time has come to start living

I just need a little inspiration, need to be free
Maybe some motivation will open my eyes to see
There’s so many faces, many places to journey
I need to find my own peace of mind

Feel burning inside of me
Like every tragic love story
Broken hearted lovers lost
Tearful rivers that it cost
But love was not in vain

Woman and man together as one
Love, respect, consideration
Honesty, peaceful, ecstasy
Moving in harmony
Electricity moving through my body

Smooth warm skin, intimacy
Feeling unnerved, seeing right through to me
When I look into your eyes there’s nothing I can hide
Oooh ya got me hypnotized

Movin’ through ya body

Babylon tree bears no fruit
Can you not see twisted roots?
Seek not the Babylon tree for shelter from the rain
For those who seek to sow the seeds of wickedness
Reap only pain, reap only pain

When did violence ever lead to peace?
When did sickness ever cure disease?
Can’t you see your system is a vampire
Insatiable wildfire that’s poisoning the air we breathe?
Here we stand on the brink of evolution
Yet your minds are on your power grabs of greed
Don’t need your cursed cash to find some soil and plant some seeds
But I’ll die on my feet before I live upon my knees

So we’re gonna ride this wave to shore
‘Cause that’s the only way that we’ll survive the storm
Hurricane wind make the rain sting like thorns

Soothing rain, water for my soul
Healing me, my roots can grow
Yellow moon, abstract sky
Painting patterns in my life, this beautiful natural high

Feeling at peace, Finding out what life is meant to be
Letting go of pain
That drains the life right out of me
That dulls the light inside of me
But now I am free

Sweet smell of sage brings peaceful melodies
Releasing years of pain, of tragic memories
Hear that soft voice, in the stillness of the night
Speaking to me, turning darkness into light

Oh God, set me free
I need a sweet release
This life has worn me out
My heart is full of doubt
All this weight on my shoulder makes me feel so much older (Trying to drag me down)

A mother’s grace as she goes about her day
The look on her face as she’s fading away
The time I thought we had left to watch the seasons change
Moments we had yet to share now feel so strange
The thought of you enters my mind as I watch the flowers bloom
Reminding me that winters past and spring is coming soon

You’re still beautiful; your eyes shine like the sun
You’re still beautiful; your spirit comforts everyone
You’re still beautiful; your eyes shine like the sun
And though that sad day has come I will dream about our sweet reunion
Our sweet reunion, when I will see your face again

I cherish the times that you had on this earth
I know that you smile when you remember my birth
I know that you see the woman I’ve become
Music to your ears as I’m singing my song
Oh well heaven is a place that I long to see
You’re eyes are bright and you’re soul is free

See your face again (Smile)
Oh I know I will see
I know I will see you smile, I know I will see you dance
You are happy
You are pain free
No more worry No more misery
Oooh this I know, this I know
I know I will see your beautiful face again

I’ve been waiting for this love my whole life
I’ve found my beloved
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth
For thy love is better than wine
The joy is restored to my soul
My cup runneth over
Releasing all the love in my heart
My heart is healed

You came into my life
You helped me face my fears
In this uphill journey
You wiped away my tears
With the love in your eyes
I knew my search was over
My Love, My Love, My Love

Love thy neighbor as thyself
And heal the world
Release healing and life into your cells
And heal your body
Let the dreams of your youth come to pass
Forgive those who have wronged you
And heal your heart

La- La-La-La-La-LOVE

I look in your eyes, wonder who you are
If you’ll ever let me in, to discover you
I wait patiently, to see you again
I know I’m wasting my time on you, I can’t pretend

I never asked for too much
Just wanna feel your touch
You better make a move
I’m sick of waiting on you
Who do you think you are, playing with my heart
You say ya got to be free but you….
Keep playing those games

It’s the same old story
Don’t have the time you’re too busy
While you’re out there finding you’re truth
Doin’ what you gotta do
I’m left here confused
Feeling frustrated and used

I really cared about you
Thought our friendship was true
Why’d you come knock on my door?
What was it all for?
I guess I am a fool, I respected you
Thought you were cool
But it’s clear I meant nothin’ to you
You keep playin’ those games

Why did it have to end this way this way?
I wasn’t tryin’ to play no games
While you’re out there doin’ your thing
I’m tryin’ to move forward, forgive and stay positive
But I’ll always remember you, how you never gave this thing a chance, now we’re through
You say you don’t know what you want, open your eyes appreciate what ya got

No play no games
Don’t wanna play those games
Just want a love that’s good and true
I thought it was you, I thought it was you
No play no games
Don’t wanna play those games
Just want a love that’s good and true
And I don’t need you, I don’t need you

Up on the highest mountain
In the deepest valley low
I keep the peace that guides me through
Wherever I may go
No weapon formed against me
Will kill what’s in my soul
I stand up victoriously
With strength that helps me grow

Give thanks and praises
Give thanks and praises
We are all love by one spirit
Give thanks and praises
Give thanks and praises
We are all one by love spirit

Oh every time I wake up I see that I’m alone
And then I give thanks cause I am breathing on my own
And then I look inside and I see that I’m the same
And then I give thanks cause I’m the same in my own way

One nation, one tongue, one tribe, one spirit

Upcoming 2020 Shows


Auburn Public Theater

JAN 31 – Stanhope NJ

Stanhope House w/ Brian Rigby

Feb 1 Bridgeport ct

The Acoustic w/The Up Fronts

Feb 7 Somerville MA

Tunder Road w/Dewpoint

Feb 8 Waterbury VT

The Zen Barn

Feb 11 Pittsburgh PA

Club Cafe w/Stone Throwers

Feb 12 Roanoke VA

Martin's Downtown

Feb 13 Blacksburg VA

The Milk Parlor

Feb 14 Richmond VA

The Camel w/Jouwala Collective

Feb 15 Philadelphia PA

MilkBoy w/Rockers Galore

Feb 21 Buffalo NY

Nietzsche's w/Vibe Supply

Feb 22 Apalachin NY

Ransom Steele Tavern w/Honker

Feb 28 Rochester NY

Photo City Improv w/Jouwala Collective

Feb 29 Cortland NY

Rose Hall w/Unknown Woodsmen/Stiv Morgan

MAR 6 North Adams MA

HiLo North Adams


La Boca

MAR 20 Concord NY

Bank of NH Stage w/DJ73


Mount Snow Reggae Festival

APR 11 Erie PA

King's Rook w/Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

APR 23 Virgina Beach VA

Dock Taylor's Seaside Market Lounge